African swine fever: Germany notifies the first evidence

Figure 1. First outbreak of ASF in a wild boar carcass


On 9 September 2020, a decomposed carcass of wild boar was found in the district of Spree-Neiße, federal state of Brandenburg, Germany (fig.1). On 10 September 2020, the National Reference Laboratory for African swine fever (ASF) at the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI) confirmed the finding. According to the assessment of the FLI, based on the assessment of the carcass’ decomposition state, the virus may have been introduced few weeks before the finding.

This is the firsrt  case of ASF in Germany.


The geographical distance to the nearest confirmed ASF-case in Poland is only 30 km. Due to the proximity to the German-Polish border of approx. 6 km (fig. 1), it is very likely that the virus was introduced by a migrating wild boar. However, an introduction by people through contaminated pork meat cannot be excluded. 


African swine feverF has been spreading in the Asiatic-European area since 2007 and reached the Eastern border of the European Union in 2014. The spreading of ASF over longer distances is often due to human activities such as inappropriate disposal of contaminated food. This was the cause of incursion into the Czech Republic and Belgium where ASF was successfully eradicated. The construction of fences contributed significantly to this success. Brandenburg also erected a protective fence at the border to Poland in December 2019.


Local veterinary authorities must take all measures necessary to ensure that the virus does not spread and is not transmitted to the population of domestic pigs. Now, it is extremely important, even for farmers, to strictly observe all the most stringent biosecurity measures.





Source: FLI , OIE



Daniela Morelli

National Reference Centre for Risk Analysis
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